Over seventy delegates attended the autumn meeting of the Holtec User Group (HUG) (Nov 10-13) in New Orleans, LA to receive and dispense knowledge on best practices and lessons learned from continuing dry storage operations.
HUG meetings provide the forum for Holtec dry storage system users to gather and discuss design, licensing, QA, manufacturing, and operational improvements, issues, challenges, lessons learned, and best practices. Now 16 years old, HUG has become the largest dry cask users group in the nuclear industry representing 54 reactor units in the US, UK and Spain. Ms. Zita Martin and Mr. Sean Flickinger are its current Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.
The meeting included presentations on several new topics including Aging Management by Holtec’s President and CEO, Dr. Kris Singh, Dry Storage License Renewal by Mr. Kristopher Cummings of Nuclear Energy Institute, and WCS – The Texas Solution for LLW and Interim Storage by Mr. Rod Baltzer, President of Waste Control Specialists LLC. Dr. Debu Mitra-Majumdar of Holtec conducted training sessions on the regulatory considerations and thermal-hydraulic performance of HI-STORM systems.
HUG subcommittee chairpersons representing Design, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Cask Loading presented status on their subcommittee’s accomplishments and actions for improvements. Various utility members also made presentations on the status of implementations of dry storage systems at their plant sites with emphasis on lessons learned and best practices.
The group also awarded certificates of excellence to Dresden, La Salle, River Bend, Braidwood, Fermi 2, Hatch, and Farley for their ALARA accomplishments in recent loadings.
HUG’s award for implementing the most innovative ideas to improve safety and dose went to Exelon’s Braidwood Station. Braidwood Station implemented two innovative solutions, which included the following: 1) Development of a Sling Caddy, which neatly organizes and helps position the MPC downloader slings and MPC lift cleats atop the MPC during the MPC downloading process. The use of the Sling Caddy improves personnel safety, time and dose; and 2) Use of two multi-purpose pumps for the Hydro and Blowdown Process, which also saves time and improves ALARA. The next HUG Conference is scheduled for Orlando, FL in May 2015.